A Homemade Remote Control
Apple offers a remote control for some of its products. Some Macs, Apple TVs, and certain accessories (like docks) have an infrared receiver for this purpose. The company sells the six-button remote for about $20. So, a resourceful customer decided to build his own using an Arduino prototyping platform. It may not be pretty, and it’s a lot bigger than the original, but at least it’s homemade...
A Double-Ended USB Drive
This double-ended thumb drive is, in fact, made up of two standard, compact USB keys. The homemade housing is rather cool-looking, and the device's advantage, obviously, is being able to keep different types of data separate.
A Built-In Fingerprint Reader
Fingerprint readers were popular for a few years, but they seem to be rarer on laptops now. But, if you still want to use biometrics to protect your data, there’s a solution: build the reader directly into the computer’s chassis. Your laptop needs to have available space inside (some don’t), and you need a USB hub you can modify. But, the results are interesting.
Bluetooth Garage Door Opener
This one’s a little more practical: open your garage door via Bluetooth connectivity. Using a small Bluetooth controller, a smartphone, and a little time, you can open your garage door remotely and efficiently. As is often the case, this won’t work with an iPhone. Apple deliberately limits Bluetooth functionality.
Use An Old Telephone As A "Hands-Free" Kit
Are you into nostalgia? This little trick lets you easily recycle an old telephone by connecting it to a PC via two standard jacks. The modification requires salvaging parts from an old analog modem, but those are easy to find. Obviously, your grandmother’s old phone won't perform as well as the latest headphones for gaming, but it has so much more class.
An Upvote/Downvote Button For A Web Site
This amusing little project is for "voting" on certain Web sites (in this case, the online community Reddit) by simply pressing an arrow. In fact, the hardware emulates a USB keyboard and sends the appropriate shortcut to the site. Maybe somebody will build one to vote + and – on the comments on our articles, too.
An Infrared Filter
Would you like to take nice pictures with an infrared filter? It’s fairly simple. You need a diskette and a camera (like the one in your smartphone) that can capture infrared light. It's easy to check if your camera can do this; if you hit a button on your television's remote control and see the LED at the end light up through the camera, it'll work. Some cameras have very good filters, though, which means they'll block IR light almost completely. You’ll need to take pictures with strong infrared sources, such as the sun.
A Homemade Keylogger
It's fairly easy for a budding spy to manufacture a homemade keylogger (a little tool that records what's being pressed on a keyboard). For reasons of convenience, a USB-to-PS/2 adapter is used (the PS/2 serial protocol is simpler), which means that the computer you use the keylogger on has to have a PS/2 connector.
Help For A Runny Nose, From A Mac
We’ll end with a bit of sacrilege: Turning Apple’s most sacrosanct Mac, the Power Mac G4 Cube, into a Kleenex dispenser.